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Antebellum Ales: Carillon Brewing Company Tour

(Issue 23)

 


The History

Modern craft breweries are nothing new to Ohio, which has seen exponential growth of craft breweries in the last five years. But a brewery museum is one of a kind. How did it come to be? And why pick the 1850s? Brock explains that “1850 was a turning point for many, many stories.” It was a time of change for the Miami Valley, as residents moved from homesteads into cities and towns, and German and Irish immigrants started settling in the area. Industrialization and commercialization were starting to take root, consolidating jobs typically done in the home, including beer brewing.


The beer, and the restaurant’s historic food, allows the museum to show how “one little thing is relevant and impacted by so many different points of history and innovation and science.”


This time period, Brock explains, “gave us several points of conversation to use the beer as a hook, [to] get people in here because that's an easy sell.” Brock notes that the beer, and the restaurant’s historic food, allows the museum to show how “one little thing is relevant and impacted by so many different points of history and innovation and science.”

The time period also filled a hole in the structure of Dayton History’s Carillon Historic Park. In 2007, Brady Kress, Dayton History’s Director, was updating the master interpretive plan for the park and realized that there was more demand for an expanded restaurant.

“I’m a fifth-generation Daytonian of German-Catholic descent,” Kress explains. “My family has made wine since arriving in Ohio in 1841, and my grandparents brewed beer at the house. As I’ve developed stories and grown Carillon for the last dozen years, I have always been attracted to telling Dayton’s stories of beer, wine and spirit production. I first put a brewery in our master plan for the museum in 2007. As we looked at our expanding audience, we knew they were demanding more hands-on, unique, production-type experiences … I determined it was time to pull the trigger on this project. A historic, full-scale operating brewery with everyone in costume using historic tools and techniques. The first and only museum in the country to do so; where guests could watch the historic methods, taste the product, and then buy it and take it home.”

Thanks to gifts from Heidelberg Distributing Company, Rieck Services, Schiewetz Foundation and other donors and the historical research led by Brock and her team, the plan worked. The brewery just celebrated its first anniversary, and continues to grow and find new ways to engage the public, including food and beer tastings and “brewer for a day” opportunities. “I’m so pleased that our brewery has been well received by the public,” Kress explains, “that it has provided a good authentic understanding of the brewing process, and I hope my grandparents, who are buried less than 700 yards from the brewery, would be smiling.”



Carillon Brewing Company is located at 1000 Carillon Boulevard; Dayton, OH 45409 and is open daily from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. Call 937-910-0722 or find them online at http://www.carillonbrewingco.org for details and to plan your visit. 

All Photos Courtesy of Carillon Brewing Co.

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